27th April 2021, 08:35 AM #121
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29th April 2021, 07:01 PM #122Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2019
i've seen someone on youtube use their dowel plate by chucking the would-be dowel in a drill and spinning it through (with the plate held vertically in a vise), rather than pounding it through with a mallet
i haven't seen them explain why they do it that way, but my best guess would be maybe it reduces the chance of accidentally breaking the dowel off while wailing on it? they were making pretty long dowels as i recall
29th April 2021, 07:30 PM #123
I did a search in YouTube. Is this the video you're referring to? If so, you'll notice that he's not using a standard dowel plate, i.e. it's not just a round hole like standard dowel plates. He's using a custom plate with two smaller holes intersecting the middle holes that act as cutters. I don't think this method will work with standard (i.e. store bought) dowel plates.
This other video shows a slight variation to the method but the principle is the same. Both methods modify the dowel hole so that there's a piece of the plate that acts as a cutter. In this 2nd video, the cutting edge is by sawing a kerf at a slight angle to the dowel hole and then bending one side to achieve the cutting angle and clearance required. Neither methods will work with just a regular round dowel hole by itself.
But it does prove there's several ways to skin a cat. My preferred method would actually be Veritas's Dowel Maker or their Dowel Cutters because you can fine tune the exact diameter of the dowel. The downside is the price and they're currently out of stock.
30th April 2021, 01:39 PM #124
Drive Bye ???
Things that you learn on the Forum ....
Is that an expression that you picked up in Canada? I, for one, had never heard it before, nor had a couple of professional photographers. Though one did comment that companies like photos that "accidentally" or "incidentally' or "coincidentally" include their corporate logo. For example, if there is a car, bulldozer or hi-viz vest visible, then make sure that the logo is recognisable, but not too obvious.
30th April 2021, 01:56 PM #125
Why make a simple task more complex?
I tried the drill method years ago and it is true that you can make some-what longer dowels, but how often do you need a long dowel? Most dowels that I use are less than 50mm, and almost never longer than 75mm. If you try to make the dowels too long then you set up a rythmic vibration as it rotates in the drill, which is difficult to control and you may snap the partly made dowel.
My experience is that a dowel plate works best with dowels up to 150 or 200mm length, depending on the diameter of the intended dowel. I rarely use a hammer for the first two passes through the dowel plate, and then only gentle taps. You certainly do not "pound it through with a mallet" or "wail on it". Just fairly gentle tapping with most timbers, firm tapping with E globulus.
1st May 2021, 09:03 PM #126Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2014
- Foot of the Dandenong Ranges
Mike. Why did you buy the imperial instead of the metric dowel plate? I noticed they had both versions on Amazon for the same price.
I find all the fractions confusing. I'm hoping the Yanks will join the rest of the world sooner rather than later and use metric. I wont hold my breath.
1st May 2021, 11:36 PM #127
There were 2 reasons why I went with the imperial version. Firstly, I was originally going to use Tas Oak 1/2" dowels from Bunnings and had already drilled 12.5mm holes (I don't have imperial brad point drill bits yet) through the maple endcap and the tenon. I then changed my mind and decided that it would look great if I used Purpleheart dowels instead. If I had bought the metric plate, the closest hole would have been 13mm. True, I could have re-drilled the holes with a 13mm twist bit but I didn't want to do that as I wasn't sure that it would leave a good finish or that it would centre on the existing hole. I used a brad point to drill the 12.5mm which left a clean entry hole.
The 2nd reason is because I plan to buy Rob Cosman's wood hinge kit. There is a metric version, but finding good quality metric core box router bits in the appropriate sizes and with a 1/2" shank is extremely difficult (most router collets are 1/2"). A quick search of Carbatec's site shows that they only stock imperial core box bits. So, it makes more sense to choose the imperial kit, and if I want to use custom dowels, I obviously need an imperial dowel plate. And if I do decide to use store bought dowels, they're also in imperial sizes (3/8" and 1/2" being the sizes that I would use the most). If the metric dowel plate had 9.5mm and 12.5mm holes, I probably would have chosen it instead. I'm also eyeing Veritas's Dowel Maker or Dowel Cutters.
But yes, I agree with you, imperial measurements are a PITA.
2nd May 2021, 01:29 AM #128
Thanks for the info on the dowel plate. I've just ordered the metric. I'll be using it on my own bench build for the draw-bores
2nd May 2021, 11:29 AM #129Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2014
- Foot of the Dandenong Ranges
Thanks for the comprehensive explanation Mike. I would have made the mistake of buying the metric plate which would have been very annoying when all those other components are imperial.
2nd May 2021, 12:48 PM #130
17th May 2021, 08:49 PM #131
I've finally flattened the top.....
I mainly used my LA Jack and LA jointer to plane the outer boards and end caps down to the level of the slab. The blades were sharpened to 50 degrees to minimise tear out. I then used 40 grit and my "jointing" sanding block to flush everything up. With the top flat and to its final height, I could finally mark the leg vise chop and shape it.
Here it is after shaping with a selection of rasps and sanded to 40 grit. I then taped off the top face of the chop where the leather will be glued on and finished the inside face with Osmo and paste wax. I assembled the leg vise which I will hope will be the for the last time.
Here it is installed and flushed to the bench top with my jointing sanding block. After this photo taken, I actually shaved half a millimeter off the chop so it sits slightly lower than the work surface.....
.....as can be seen in this photo with a couple of Veritas Prairie Dogs installed.
I also installed a couple of Prairie Dogs on the end vise of which the locations were carefully planned to avoid the sprocket and chain mechanism inside the chop. The locations of the Prairie Dogs also dictated where the row of bench dog holes on the top would go so I had to make sure that it didn't line up with the groove for the sliding deadman. In the end, I had a 30mm range to locate the 19mm dog holes. The final position ended up being 62mm from the front edge (and also the back edge) allowing a 6mm clearance from the deadman groove and 5mm to the mortise of the chain drive mortise.
Here are all the dog holes drilled and chamfered. The two holes in the middle are for holdfasts. The dog holes are spaced 141mm apart. I would have liked to space them further apart but I couldn't have them further than the 150mm travel of the HNT Tail Vise that will be installed on the left rear side (top right in the photo). I've ordered the tail vise but it's taking longer than the "end of April" shipment claim previously on the web site. The website has now been changed to "end of May". Hopefully it isn't delayed any further than that. I'm just waiting for it to arrive so I can install it and finally put some finish on the top. With the dog holes drilled, I think I can finally put my other workbench up for sale.
Here's the drilling jig I cobbled up with some scrap MDF to get the spacing right and to help me drill plumb. A third of the way through, I replaced it with a hardwood version when the holes became a bit too loose.
.....I've started joining the top and bottom sections of the faces for middle and bottom row of drawers. I first plane where the handle is proud of the back, and I then cut 3 Domino mortises. I'm using 8mm x 50mm Dominoes. It's mainly for alignment.
Here are the top and bottom sections dry-fitted. One down, eleven more to go.......but that's for next update.
19th May 2021, 09:32 PM #132
I had a day off and managed to get some more work done on the bench so I thought I'd share another quick update. All the halves of the middle and bottom drawers have now been joined together (12 in total) and I ran the back face of each one over the jointer to get a flat reference surface.
Next up, I couldn't help myself and I had to flush up the front face of one of the drawers just to see if the transition of the handle was what I had in mind.
Above is the result. The rest of the handle still needs smoothing out, but I'm happy with the transition.
I then used the table saw to get the height close to their final dimension and the SCMS to do the same to the width.
The Veritas shooting plane is used to sneak up on the right fit. I'm not exactly sure what the "right" fit is at this stage, but I leave it tight enough that I need to tap them in with the heel of my palm. I guess knowing how tight to make it is something one gets a better idea of with experience. For now, I reason that I can always shave some more off but I can't add anymore on if I take off too much. I'm probably worrying a bit too much because even if I do get it right and achieve a "piston" fit, I'll never get the satisfaction of one drawer being pushed open by the trapped air caused by the closing of an adjacent drawer. There's just too many gaps for the air to escape (e.g. centre gap, cupboard, dog holes, etc). At least that'll be my excuse!!
I'm still getting used to using a shooting plane. Rob Cosman and other YouTubers make it seem effortless. I'm not sure if it's the angle or sharpness of my blade, but I definitely require more effort. It could also be the species (and thickness) of wood I'm using which is a combination of Bunnings KD plantation-grown Tassie Oak and old growth heavily figured Tassie Oak (plus a bit of Purpleheart). I sharpened the PMV11 blade to an angle of a bit over 30degrees (primary bevel = 30 degrees + a tiny micro bevel with the Veritas Mark II honing guide). Perhaps I should have kept the angle to 25 degrees? I'd be interested to know what everyone reckons I should use. I'm confident enough with the sharpness. My final "stone" was a 16000 grit Shapton and the blade passed the obligatory "arm-hair shave test" as well as "the A4 copier paper slivers test". Or do I simply need to lower my expectations? Regardless of the extra effort I'm having to use, I am achieving the desired result of a square and smooth end to my drawer faces.
Above are a couple photos of the front and rear bank of drawers. Looking at the photos, and realising that each drawer face on the bottom row have 7 pieces of timber (the middle row has 6 each and the top row "only" 4), I've come to the conclusion that I must like making things difficult. It's no wonder this build is nearing the year-long marker. Another thing that springs to my mind is I have to figure out what finish to use to retain the stark contrast to the rest of the frame. I don't want to use polyurethane, and I planned on just using Osmo, but I might experiment with applying blonde hard shellac before the Osmo. Hopefully that will result in the drawers retaining most of their pale complexion.
I'll end this post with one final photo showing the state of the build as of this evening. I've received the shipping advice from HNT Gordon, so hopefully my next update post will be a report on the installation of the tail vise.
13th June 2021, 08:44 PM #133
I've had terrible luck with my HNT Gordon Tail Vise. I ordered it way back in April and it took 8 weeks to finally get it. Firstly, HNT didn't have any in stock so they had to make it. Secondly, for some reason Australia Post returned it back to HNT for no good reason. It was sent with signature on delivery so it should have been taken to the local Post Office because I wasn't at home when they attempted delivery. For some reason, OzPost claimed that the address was incorrect and returned. When HNT got the package, they confirmed that the address was indeed correct and that the shipping label was clearly legible and undamaged. Terry even cut the original shipping label to prove that there was no reason that it was returned. And when I finally got the package.........
......it arrived with some significant damage. There were several puncture marks but only one hit the vise. I suspect it was deliberate and possibly retaliation because I complained that the package had been returned. I complained again but all OzPost would fork out was $100 and they would keep the vise. Terry was willing to replace it but I'd have to wait another 2 weeks for them to make another one and it would probably closer to 3 weeks before I got the replacement. In the end I decided to keep the vise as the damage didn't affect its function and it would be concealed within the mortise and under the top cover.
After getting rid of the bitter taste left by that experience, I could finally move on to installing the vise.
First, I marked out the "inner" mortise for the vise and transferred it to the end cap which I then scribed to prevent any tear out for when router bit cuts through.
I then used an upcut spiral bit on my OF1400 to cut the side walls. The bottom cut (as you look at the photo) wandered a bit because I wasn't pushing the fence against the bench hard enough but that was just the first pass and it will be cleaned up when I cut the wider mortise for the top cover plate. I hacked out the remaining waste in the centre with a chisel before cleaning out the bottom with the router. I also cut in half lengthwise through one of my draw bores. This doesn't really compromise the end cap or bench top in any way. The end cap is mainly for aesthetics and serves no real function in this scenario. This isn't the case with the installation of the Benchcrafted Wagon Vise as the end cap is joined to the outer lamination in order to resist the forces of the wagon vise. At least that's how I understand it.
I use the electric router to hog out most of the waste for the top cover plate and then my router plane and chisels to creep up to the line. Also visible in the above photo is a through hole I've cut to allow shavings/sawdust,debris,etc to fall through. I still have to clean it up with a rasp.
Here's the resulting mortise and with the vise dryfitted. I deviated slightly from HNT's instructions and made the top cover the same width as laminated board so that the seams would align and hopefully make the installation as invisible as possible. It would have turned out better if I hadn't stuffed up when scribing the bottom line. My ruler moved and I ended up scribing quite a deep line before realising my mistake. It's not quite noticeable now but it's more visible after I wicked some super glue and sanded it flush.
Here's the top cover installed. I used Titebond 3 on the bottom and then I wicked some thin CA glue down the sides. The cover plate is about half a mm proud and I've yet to trim off the Purpleheart at the end. I also re-installed my Tassie Oak "draw-bore" .
Here it is all cleaned up. The Purpleheart section of the top plate is a few shades lighter than the end cap because it has just been freshly planed and sanded. It should darken to the same shade as the end cap in a day or two. My scribing mistake makes it look like there's a gap in the joint. It's a good thing this is just a workbench. I've learnt my lesson - from now on when scribing a long line, I will clamp the ruler down so it cannot move.
With the tail vise installed, I move on to chamfering the top. There's not much info or guide how to do this. You would think it's a fairly simple task but one has to consider which sections to chamfer. IMO, the sections which the vise chops clamp on to should remain unchamfered. So I had to decide where to decide where to start and end the chamfers.......
I start/end the chamfer at the Purpleheart strip of the end cap. I can't continue the chamfer to the end because it would look weird if the sides of the end cap were chamfered but the vise chop wasn't. I suppose I could have chamfered the vise chop as well but that would ruin its aesthetics.
Similarly, I stop the chamfer at the leg vise......
.....and here are the corners.
Finally, I had a bit of time and when tidying up I found my branding iron so I decided to customise the my moxon end vise. I hope Lie Nielsen doesn't sue me !!
14th June 2021, 08:06 PM #134
Looking fantastic Mike.
I had a slight heart palpitation when I read your statement about HNT. As silly as that ordeal was due to ozpost I'm glad to hear HNT were willing to help as much as they could as that has been my experience with them so far also. I just ordered the 150mm travel tail vice and a pack of bench dogs.
Now it's all installed it looks fantastic and has given me some ideas for how I'll integrate mine as I haven't selected and end caps.i will most likely get some larger Jarrah piece to integrate into the bench and vice.
Your bench is coming together so well, you should be really proud of it
15th June 2021, 10:07 AM #135Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
- Rushworth, Victoria
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